I looked out at the crowd sitting in front of me. Oh Lord, can I do this? Men and women smiled and nodded, eager for what I was about to say. The program planner had given me a stellar introduction, even mentioning that I was a graduate of CLASS (Christian Leaders, Authors Speakers Seminar) created by award-winning speaker and writer, Florence Littauer.
With a prayer on my heart and my three-point outline on my lips, I jumped in and shared for thirty minutes my favorite presentation, Squeeze the Moment: Making the Most of Life’s Gifts and Challenges. The crowd clapped and laughed and a few even dabbed their eyes. Afterwards, people streamed up to my book table and chatted, asked me to autograph books, and shook my hand or hugged me, giving thanks for my message. It was a wonderful experience from start to finish.
I remembered what Florence had said so many times. “Everyone is looking for help and hope.” Then she shared examples that drove the point home. Whether rich or poor, educated or not, sick or well, we all need hope, and each of us needs help in some way or other. We long to be loving parents, useful citizens, generous friends, trusted employees, committed spouses, and caring Christians.
Just as medicine goes down a bit easier with a spoonful of honey so does a message of help and hope––with a dose of humor. Thanks to Florence I learned early on that laughter makes everything all better.
Now when I stand on stage before hundreds or on a floor in front of a few, or sitting across from a friend over a cup of coffee in a cafe, I no longer ask, Oh Lord, can I do this? because I know I can—strengthened by the grace of God and the encouragement Florence provided.
And you don’t have to be a published writer or a polished speaker to offer people help, hope, and a dose of humor. Anyone can give such gifts each and every day to the people we love and live with, and to those we meet along the way.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”